Ask The Moving Doc

Ask The Moving Doctor

Ask The Moving Doc

Ask the Moving Doctor

Nina Glibetic says:
March 29, 2013 at 11:52 am (Edit)

My husband and I are moving from Rome, Italy to New Haven, USA. We are willing to drop things off/pick things up near or at both locations, if it saves us on the cost. We are also not in a hurry to receive the shipment back in the US. We want to ship personal belongings only, no furniture, mostly books and clothes. About 20-25 middle sized boxes. We would be very grateful for a cost estimate! Also, what are the usual additional costs/taxes at the ports that we may expect?

Thank you so very much!
Nina and Gabriel

The Moving Doctor says:
March 29, 2013 at 7:38 pm (Edit)
Hello Nina, Chris in our office here can help you with this. I have passed this message on to him so he can contact you. If you get a quote through to door then its fairly all inclusive, but although cheaper up front if you pay just to arrival a terminal like New York at the destination you will have to pay for customs clearance and port / hand over fees but it will still be cheaper than a full delivery service and Chris can advise the different prices and options, cheers The Moving Dr.

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Ask the Moving Doctor

Ask the Moving Doctor

Our resident Moving Doctor, Mark Nash is in the house! Mark has been in the moving business for 33 years, originally from England; he has moved 5 times internationally and has worked in England, mainland Europe, The Middle East and for the past 19 years in the USA. If he doesn’t know the answer to the question, he has enough friends in this industry to find out for you.

He currently sits on the board of the International Shippers Association and the Commercial Affairs committee at the International Association of Movers.

Mark will always do his best to provide an answer honestly, professionally and treat this forum as a place where everyone can learn about moving overseas.

Ask your question below!

  • Louise Strasenburgh
    Posted at 17:25h, 01 June Reply

    If I am unsure as to how many 100 cu. ft packs I need … do I order say 3 and then if I only use 2 – return the other?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 16:04h, 02 June Reply

      Hello Louise, that’s a great question!
      Returning an unused U crate is expensive for you as you would have to pay the return journey back to us.
      You are better off for example ordering two U Crates and then if you need the third one ask for the third one to be shipped out. Yes you have to pay the extra for that shipping but its cheaper doing it this way plus you then receive the discount for us collecting and shipping three at the same time. Obviously you need to order the kits well in advance so you have enough time if you need to order the third kit.

      The other suggestion I have is to measure out the size of the U Crates on a floor and wall using masking / painters tape. Now go ahead and load your things into that imaginary space to see if it looks like you can get everything into two or three U Crates. May be you can do two U Crate 100’s and some extras on a small pallet for example which would save you some money.

      I hope this answer helps you and if you have any other questions feel free to ask the International Moving Doctor.

  • Rob Sitomer
    Posted at 07:20h, 31 May Reply

    I am interested in sending my ebike, packaged in a 1600x200x800 box on a large pallet with other boxes and items. Will this fit on the large pallet and is it allowed to ship an ebike? If not, could I ship it the 100 container? Otherwise, please let em know the best way to ship. It is going from Germany to Los Angeles.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 15:16h, 31 May Reply

      Thanks for the question Rob. I passed this over to our Sales Manager for Europe, Steve to answer and this is what he says:

      Hi Rob,
      Thank you for having taken the time to visit our website and your interest in our services

      Shipping E Bikes is an issue because of the fact that they use Ion Lithium batteries which we are unable to ship, also the dimensions of your packaged bike are a little over what could be placed on a pallet or in one of our U crate 100’s

      Having said that, if you would be willing to unpack the bike and remove the battery and then load the bike inside one of our U crates without the original packaging or on one of our large pallets, as a guide the dimensions of our large pallet is 120cms x 80cms x 182.88cms and our U crate 100’s are 111.76cms x 114.3cms x 198.12cms, then I am sure that this would work, then I am sure that the Bike would fit

      Going back to the battery some International couriers will ship Lithium batteries, I would recommend checking out FedEx as sending the battery separately maybe the way to go. Alternatively leave the battery behind and buy a new one in America.

      I have included a link to one of our videos showing how a Bike has been loaded into one of our smaller U crate 50’s along with some boxes and personal effects which should give you a clearer image of the space available and on how to load a bike inside

      If you have any further questions or would like an informal chat about your moving needs please email me at and I will be more than happy to address any questions you may have.

      Cheers Steve

  • Kim Gama
    Posted at 18:29h, 29 May Reply

    We are planning on moving from the USA to Portugal this year and I am starting to pack boxes for shipping.. Do I need to label each box with contents, name, delivery address, from where it is shipping or is this just the pallet info?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 14:44h, 30 May Reply

      Hi Kim, yes each box and separate item needs a label or at least written on with permanent marker saying contents, name and piece number.
      If you are moving with UPakWeShip we email you a UPakWeShip Label Template which has I believe your name and booking number already printed so you just need to complete the piece number and the contents.

      If like you, you are moving to Europe or the UK, the description can be vague. So box 1 clothes, box 2 kitchenware, box 3 bedding, box 4 toys…..
      The item number and the description needs to match the packing list that you have to do to provide us to give to customs. We give you a packing list template as well.

      Its also a good idea if you know the room you want the box to go into at your new destination house to write that on the box too. So write “Ally’s Room” or Kitchen on the box so whoever is unloading knows what room to put the box.

      We don’t put the delivery address on the crate or boxes as that’s private information so we just put the destination country, your ref number, name and a “if lost please email us at …

      I hope that helps and answers your question Kim, if you would like me to answer anything else feel free to post another question.

      Cheers, The International Moving Doctor.

  • Carolyn Briggs
    Posted at 13:36h, 12 May Reply

    I see the bottom of the 50 and 100 are pallets. What is the material that makes up the sides and top? Is anything stacked on top of my upak during any part of transit or storage? Does my upak go inside a shipping container on the ship or does it ride unprotected on the deck or wait in the elements on a dock or pier? Thank you.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 20:19h, 15 May Reply

      Hello Carolyn, thanks for the good questions. Yes the bottom of the U Crates are wood pallets. The sides and top are very thick cardboard called I believe, Triwall as in three carboard thick. There is nothing ever stacked on U Crate 100’s but its possible we might stack a U Crate 50 on top of another U Crate 50. Yes all U Crates and pallets go into a 40 foot steel shipping container and the container gets loaded onto the ship. The only time your U Crate is outside in the elements is when its collected from your house and delivered overseas to your residence. The rest of the time its always under cover.
      You can see a lot of pictures of our U Crates in our warehouse and being loaded on the International Moving Doctor’s mini blog page here.

      Also if you look at our You Tube video How we moved to the Netherlands it shows how the U Crates work with pictures and video.

      I hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions. Our U Crates are an extremely safe way to ship your things overseas. They are definitely worth the money!

      Cheers, The International Moving Doctor.

  • Ghozael Audrey
    Posted at 23:01h, 01 May Reply

    How long would shipping 2 U crate 100 from California (Oakland), to France (south of Paris) take form door to door ?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 14:54h, 02 May Reply

      Hello Audrey, it depends a little on the time of year, (spring and summer are busy so more frequent sailings) ship availability and port congestion. (pretty good at present) the length of time it takes to clear the shipment through customs (again fairly quick at present)
      So at the moment I would say 7-8 weeks from the west coast to France. To give you an idea, my thought process is as follows:
      Collection Oakland to our shipping terminal SC, 1 week.
      Receive and await loading, 1 week.
      Load shipping container and take to port ready for loading onto ship, 1 week
      Transit to Rotterdam and UPakWeShip Europe office, 2 weeks
      Unloading and customs clearance, 1 week.
      Delivery to France 1 week.
      Allow another week for any errors but that’s about as close as we can get at present.
      I hope that helps and let me know if you have any other questions or concerns about your relocation to France.
      The International Moving Doctor

  • Marcella and Joseph
    Posted at 20:10h, 17 April Reply

    How do you suggest shipping a motorcycle to Portugal? We would have the motorcycle along with a few small sturdy cardboard boxes.
    Thank you!

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 13:47h, 18 April Reply

      Hello Marcella and Joseph and thanks for the great question. Whilst we can ship a motorcycle to Portugal in our consolidation service to Europe via Rotterdam, the problem is you would not have the correct paperwork that Portuguese customs needs to give you in order for you to register the bike in Portugal. So the best way is to ship the bike direct into Portugal. If you type they are a legit company that specializes in shipping cars and bike worldwide and can help you. They have been in business nearly as long as us and we know and respect each others specialties. We can of course help with your boxes and suggest a U Crate 50 being the safest method of transport with us.
      I hope this helps and let m know if you need any more information or have further questions, cheers
      The Intl Moving Doctor.

  • melissa scovronski
    Posted at 23:47h, 20 March Reply

    Is is advisable to put an arm chair in a 100 crate?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 14:53h, 30 March Reply

      Hello Melissa, first off, I apologize for the delay in replying, we had a software glitch and the reply button was not on the screen for me to reply to you.
      All fixed now, and the answer is yes that is fine obviously as long as it fits. I would wrap it in movers blankets and label it with your name, and a number to correspond to the packing list. The U Crate 100 is fantastic for protecting all items. They have like a 99% success rate of getting everything to the destination, just as you packed it. So as long as you pack it well and don’t force too much in to bow or bend the sides, all will be good.
      Cheers and happy packing, The International Moving Doctor.

  • Nicky O'Brien
    Posted at 13:06h, 31 January Reply

    How long can the shipping container be left with us for shelf packing?

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 12:05h, 10 February Reply

      Hello Nicky, depending where you are but generally you get two hours free for loading then its about 100 pounds / Euros/ Dollars ish per hour after that while the driver and truck waits. Alternatively we can sometimes place the container on a Friday for example and collect it on the Monday. This works if you are near a port or inland container terminal but could be expensive with double trucking as the truck has to come back to collect the container if you live nowhere near a port or inland container terminal.
      I hope that helps and let me know if you need more details.
      Cheers The International Moving Doctor

  • Lauren
    Posted at 09:58h, 20 November Reply

    Are rechargeable batteries prohibited from being packed in the shipment? I saw a post saying laptops should be brought via plane, but what is the stance on regular batteries? My husband has a decent collection of rechargeable AA and AAA batteries in a case and we are wondering if this is something that could be packed or not. Thanks!

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 15:58h, 21 November Reply

      Hi Lauren, they will be fine to ship no problem.
      Cheers The International Moving Doctor

  • Ed
    Posted at 11:48h, 18 October Reply

    Can part of the pallet be made up of heavy plastic totes? It will be going to England.

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:13h, 19 October Reply

      Hello Ed, yes they can but please make sure they are heavy duty totes as the lightweight ones tend to crack during transit when other things are stacked on top of them. Its worth spending the money on tough heavy duty totes or strong cardboard boxes.
      Hope that helps, cheers The International Moving Doctor

  • Lauren
    Posted at 18:18h, 17 October Reply


    How specific do we need to be per line of the packing list? Is it enough to say “kitchenware” or would I need to detail the specifics like plates, cups, pot, pan etc. The lines dont look big enough to detail everything in some of our boxes! Thanks!

    • The Moving Doctor
      Posted at 10:26h, 18 October Reply

      Hi Lauren, no details required so Kitchenware is fine. If you have a mixed box just list whatever the majority thing is in the box.
      The International Moving Doctor

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